Arthur Masuaku is determined to put a 'difficult time' behind him and help inspire West Ham United to Premier League safety.
The winger returned from the six-match suspension he received for spitting in an Emirates FA Cup fourth-round tie at Wigan Athletic on Wednesday evening, when he completed the full 90 minutes in a 3-1 friendly win at Dagenham & Redbridge.
While he admits he will need game-time to return to full match-fitness, the exciting left-sided player is eager to make up for lost time and repay his teammates, staff and supporters for the half-dozen matches he missed.
"I'm very pleased to come back," he confirmed. "I'm happy I had some minutes against, I would say, a tough team. It was not easy, also with the pitch, but it was good for the confidence, it's a good win and now I'm off to the national team.
"t was good intensity and it was good for me especially as I was out for two months, so it's always good when you have some minutes.
"I used this game as a training for me to be fit as soon as possible. I need games to be at 100 per cent, and I'm not fit yet, so I used this game to help me get as fit as I can."
Reflecting on his enforced time on the side-lines, Masuaku admitted to feeling frustration as West Ham lost four of the six Premier League matches they played during his suspension.
"It was a difficult time, of course, because I couldn't help the team and with the results they we had, it was tough, but now Iâ€™m back and I hope I will help the team as much as I can.
"In the beginning, in the first week, I was very disappointed for myself, for the team and the staff and for the fans, then after that you have to move forward because it is life and everyone makes mistakes. I had my family behind me and nothing has changed. I am feeling positive."
"I can play a great part for the team now. That is what I am thinking. I just hope I can help the team and hopefully we can get the three points, because that would be massive for us."
Before taking on Southampton in the Premier League next weekend, Masuaku will have a chance to further to improve his sharpness when he makes his DR Congo debut on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old has been called-up by the country of his parents' birth for the first time and is relishing the opportunity to represent the Leopards for the first time when they take on Tanzania.
"It's a big honour. Most of my family are there, so I will have the opportunity to see them and it's always great to represent my country. My grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins will all be there.
"It's a friendly game against Tanzania and after that we have another friendly with Nigeria in May and some Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers starting in September."